Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,
Catch a tiger by the toe.
If he hollers, let him go,
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
When we were kids, this rhyme was the official and universally acknowledged way to resolve nearly any dispute. Who gets the last piece of candy? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Who is “it” during the first round of hide and seek? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Who goes to pick which box of cereal we will buy? Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
The results of an eeny, meeny, miny, moe were accepted by all. There were no appeals and no whining.
As adults, we no longer rely on eeny, meeny, miny, moe to mete out justice. But that does not mean that every dispute needs to be resolved through costly litigation. Many families and employers/employees in the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area are seeking something in the middle. More fair and formalized than eeny, meeny, miny, moe, but less costly and time-consuming than going to court.
That’s where we come in. Human Alchemy is a strong proponent of the power of mediation to resolve even the most complex disputes. Mediation is a non-judicial proceeding in which a mediator tries to negotiate a resolution or settlement between the parties.
Why Mediation Is Better Than Litigation
A mediator does not have the power of a judge. He or she cannot decide what the “right” answer is and force both sides to accept it. Instead, the mediator works as a neutral fact-finder and guide.
The mediator listens to both sides of the story and figures out exactly where the biggest disagreements lie. He or she then communicates each party’s concerns to the other. Trusting the mediator to accurately and fairly explain one’s position to the other side plays a big part in the success or failure of the process. So does being willing to listen when the mediator tells the other party’s story and lists their main concerns. Mediation cannot be successful if both sides do not trust that the mediator is neutral and is doing his or her best to understand the case at hand.
The mediator will often suggest a settlement agreement he or she believes will appease both parties. The parties are not required to agree to the proposed settlement, but they often do.
If the divorcing couple or employer/employee is unable to reach a resolution with the assistance of the mediator, litigation may be necessary. If the parties decide to litigate, they must start at square one. The courts are under no obligation to consider the discussions that occurred during the mediation.
Considering Mediation? Contact Our Skilled Attorneys Today
Compared to litigation, mediation is faster, cheaper, and more satisfying. Mediation gives parties a chance to tell their side of the story, the way they want to tell it, and hear an unbiased version of the other side’s story. Many disputes can be resolved in a matter of days or weeks instead of the months or years that litigation may drag on. It is truly an excellent way to resolve disputes.
If you are interested in learning more about mediation, and how it may be used to resolve a family or employment dispute you are involved in, please contact our office to set up a meeting.